What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while the human characters don't fight themselves, they "battle" using their Pokemon, and the Pokemon do strike and apparently hurt one another, although they always stagger up to fight another day. Good Pokemon trainers are kind to their Pokemon and praise and reward them, while bad ones do not -- but all send them out to fight. Both boys and girls participate, although the Pokemon belonging to female characters tend to be cutsier than others. Finally, Pokemon was once a serious marketing phenomena, and there's still significant Pokemon merchandise out there.
What's the story?
POKEMON CHRONICLES follows the adventures of a number of minor characters from the original Pokemon series. The stories are fairly typical superhero action adventures -- saving mythical creatures, kidnappings, journeys through peril -- with the old "crash!" "pow!" fights replaced by hurling small, oddly cute creatures to battle on the hero's behalf.
Is it any good?
Pokemon was, in its time, a deeply commercial enterprise and a serious fad, but those days are gone. While kids may enjoy the cartoon and appreciate the video games, the huge desire for the collectibles is over, making the show that much more acceptable to parents who don't mind junior anime but draw the line at 22-minute-long commercials. Without the frenzy fueling the marketing juggernaut, it's just a cartoon, and one that promotes pretty decent values as well as encouraging an attitude of equality between the sexes, at least on the playing field.
Pokemon Chronicles is more story-oriented than the original Pokemon and less focused on the "gotta catch 'em all" theme that pervaded the first program. There's certainly some cartoon violence, and watching such cute creatures attack one another may be momentarily confusing for young children, but overall even the most explosive scenes are fairly mild when compared to other programs in the genre.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the values of the program, discussing the importance of loyalty to friends, learning from mistakes and lost "battles," and living up to your responsibilities. They can also talk about the difference between owning pets and training Pokemon. Is it OK for the characters to encourage other creatures to fight, even if the outcome is never lethal? As always, what's OK in a cartoon is more than iffy in real life.